Recently, Warren Buffett made a call to CNBC in order to speak with Tre Grinner, a 17-year-old with Hodgkin’s lymphoma hoping to become an investment banker.
Through help gained from the Make-A-Wish foundation, Grinner had the opportunity to work as an intern at Goldman Sachs. He was on CNBC doing a live interview about the experience.
The main piece of advice that Buffett gave the young man as he is preparing to go into community college during the fall is to learn accounting so that he could learn how to read financial statements. “Accounting is the language of business and there’s nothing like getting in early and getting it into your system.”
Buffett points out that accounting is a “language all of its own,” he said. “Getting comfortable in a foreign language takes a little experience, a little study, early on but it pays off big later on.”
Buffett also told the youthful Grinner to not worry about the day-to-day moves that take place on the stock market, like when there is a plunge on Wall Street. He told him to concentrate on buying good stocks at good prices. “The lower prices go, as long as you know the company you’re investing in, the better it is for a buyer. Down days always makes me feel good.”
As part of the Goldman Sachs internship, Grinner was provided with an imaginary $50,000 to use to buy stocks. He quickly turned the $50,000 in to $70,000.
An impressed Warren Buffett said that he wants the young man to “do that for me.”
By the end of the conversation, Grinner was personally invited by Warren Buffett to visit Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha for the annual meeting in May. “I’d like to meet you personally.”